9 Apr 2020

Sport: 2027 Pacific Games vote delayed until next year

5:51 pm on 9 April 2020

A vote to determine the host of the 2027 Pacific Games will be delayed until next year, as Covid-19 continues to impact the sporting world.

Fiji, Tahiti, Guam, Vanuatu, American Samoa have all expressed an interest in hosting the event.

Apia Park staged both the opening and closing ceremonies for the Pacific Games.

Samoa hosted the 2019 Pacific Games after Tonga withdrew. Photo: Games News Service

The deadline to submit a formal bid was originally this today but had been deferred until further notice as the region grappled with the impact of Covid-19.

Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue said a final vote was due to take place during their General Assembly in Saipan but the travel restrictions imposed by governments throughout the region meant that was no longer practical.

"The General Assembly may or may not happen. It's due to be held on September 11 and 12 in Saipan, so that obviously depends on whether travel restrictions have been eased by that time and it's probably too early to make a decision on that," Minogue said.

He said a call would need to be made around May or June in order to be organised for September, so in the meantime the decision to suspend the bid process was made.

"They would ordinarily be awarded at this year's AGM, seven years in advance of the Games, but there's a lot of activity that happens between the bids being lodged and the vote in the General Assembly, a lot of liaison with governments whose countries are bidding, a lot of travel from the PGC evaluation team [and] those sorts of things can't happen in this climate."

Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue.

Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue. Photo: Vinnie Wylie/RNZ Pacific

Minogue said the Council would not reopen the bid process until they could credibly establish a renewed timeline for the bids to be lodged and the necessary meetings could take place prior to voting.

Fiji and Guam have each hosted the Pacific Games on three occasions, with Tahiti staging the event on two occasions.

Vanuatu and American Samoa have both hosted the Pacific Mini Games.

Vanuatu's team was greeted with rapturous applause

Vanuatu hosted the Pacific Mini Games in 2017. Photo: RNZI / Vinnie Wylie